Hold on to your hats. Or, as the case may be, your belts – and put down the Christmas cake.

A new study by UKMedix.com involving 2,009 Brits has revealed the extent to which festive season weight loss may not be worth the effort, as their research has found that the average Briton loses three pounds of weight in preparation for the Christmas season; yet ends up putting on six pounds after the festive period ends.

Furthermore, the study revealed that those who did not diet before Christmas were less likely to experience weight gain over the festive season.

When asked why they abstained from calorific foods before Christmas, the main reason for 65% of the respondents was revealed to be ‘in order to counteract the effects of Christmas overindulgence’; whilst a third, 33%, claimed they had done so to ‘look good for Christmas parties’. Just 9% claimed to have done so for the ‘health benefits’.

Well, that settles it. We may as well finish that packet of Boasters; it’ll be better for us in the long run.